If I had leftovers, I would not give them to my homeless friends. I will buy an entire meal for them, instead. I can do it, and it usually puts things into proper perspective, for me. Nothing is such a big deal, when I realize how blessed I am, in life.
I'm sure I come across as cold or selfish or both when I say I do not give my surplus fries to the homeless guys who hang out in downtown Athens. But there are other, better ways to help these guys, like contributing to the local homeless shelters. There are also special parking meters you can feed downtown where the money goes to help support shelters.
But, as I said earlier, if everyone bought the homeless guys a meal every day, downtown would be overrun with them and business and public safety would suffer.
Just two days ago a homeless man tried to rob at knifepoint, a group of UGA students not fifty feet from where our Five Guys hamburger joint is located. I work on campus and happened to know this particular perpatrator as he frequents the building in which I work. He apparently has mental problems as do most of the homeless. Or they suffer from drug or alcohol addictions and tend to panhandle for money during the day and often rob people at night.
In short, they need far more help than a free meal or two can provide.
I wish the solution to helping these guys was that simple, but it's not and compromising the public safety in the downtown business district would in the long run hurt a lot more local, small business owners than it would help solve the problems of the local homeless.
It does not start or stop on the street. If buying a meal for a homeless friend, was ALL I did, I would not chime in, about the topic. If I had no personal experience, I may find it difficult to realize or recognize people are individuals, and with that, they all do not get lumped into a group of dangerous bandits. Some people on the street do bad things, and are dangerous people. Just like all the people with homes, money and a daily resource for meals, are not all good.
That is why I qualify with "my homeless friends" not "the homeless". I know many wonderful people who have been through a shelter, and are on a waiting list for housing. Sadly, sometimes shelters are more dangerous than the street, for a good person, who has circumstances beyond their control. If/when you are really involved, you know the good people. They become friends, and they are individuals. That is seperate from criminals, on the street. No matter if you are homeless, or live in a mansion, crime is crime. Like I said, I speak from my own personal experience, many years ago. I am not a drug addict, or a criminal, with mental problems.
That is by no means a judgement call, for you, as a person. I always focus on what I can and will do, rather than focus on what other people are not doing. Again, a characteristic as an individual. It is just not so simple (or accurate), to catagorize ANY group of people, with a general statement, or stereotype.
John, it is pretty much an informal exercise, and the recipes may vary, based on your preference, and desire, at any given time. Since fries have a richer flavor, and body (rather than starting with a plain potato), a little of your favorite potato salad mixins go a long way. Mayo, vinegar, chopped eggs, celery, onion...whatever goes. You are fit as a fiddle, so go play, boy!!
<message edited by CCinNJ on Fri, 02/6/09 2:16 PM>